Solar Radiation Tools of the Atmospheric Scientist
I've really been into solar radiation lately - reading about various topics I had no idea even existed. I know the driving force behind all of our weather on Earth is the sun, but who knew there was so much to it when different air masses, pollution, and other factors come into play. Check out this rather interesting site with pictures of various devices used to measure solar radiation and it's effects.
The uneven heating of the Earth's surface by the sun contributes to the formation of different air masses and influences ocean currents. Energy from the sun reaches the Earth-atmosphere system in the form of electromagnetic radiation. However, only about half of the solar radiation makes it to the Earth's surface. The rest is either absorbed or reflected by clouds and the atmosphere. The Earth's surface itself can emit infrared radiation. ARM scientists use radiometers (instruments for measuring radiant energy) to continuously monitor this balance between incoming and outgoing radiation.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at May 1, 2007 3:14 PM